Michigan State coaching staff plays musical chairs
Job swap! Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has announced the following after a season in which his offense ranked No. 125 in yards per play, its fourth straight year of below average production: Running backs coach Dave Warner is now quarterbacks coach Quarterbacks coach Brad Salem is now running backs coach Also: Offensive line coach Mark Staten is now tight ends coach Tight ends coach Jim Bollman is now offensive line coach And finally: Defensive backs coach Don Treadwell is now wide receivers coach Wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel is now defensive backs coach Several coaches also have other fluctuating duties, and Salem takes over for Warner as primary offensive coordinator, but those are the position group changes at present. We tried this once for a couple days in the offseason here at SB Nation, but not for an entire football season. NFL editor Ryan Van Bibber and I swapped jobs, just to see what we could learn from each other. And then Tom Brady got suspended, so we immediately swapped back. Just thought I’d relay some personal experience for you. Maybe this will work, and several of these fits are more natural than the old ones were (raising ... some questions), but that’s still gotta be a new one. “This is the first significant shakeup Dantonio has made to his staff that didn’t go along with a coach taking another position elsewhere,” per the Detroit News. The local reaction is probably about the same as yours, even if you didn’t watch any Michigan State games this season: Mark Dantonio is betting everything he has built at MSU on his friends that have helped him build it. If they go down, he’s going down right beside them. This feels like it has the possibility to turn into the coaching equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. With Dantonio ready to play the part of the band playing on until the ship is completely underwater. Obviously, things could very well change for the better, and let’s be honest, it would basically be impossible not to improve on this season. Michigan State was 117th in the S&P+ rankings on offense, and 126th in scoring offense. They scored two total touchdowns in their final four games, both coming against a 1-11 Rutgers team that the Spartans barely beat at home. But to think that by moving around the same pieces and collective minds will result in a drastically different outcome seems like a folly. While Brad Salem did not have the co-coordinator title before, to think that he had no input on the offense and game planning seems unlikely. I do believe that Salem will bring something different to the play calling, the same way that Warner brought something different than Dan Roushar. Sometimes all you need is a different mind, even if it is one that has been in the same coach’s room for the last decade. But I understand and share the concern of fans who dislike this development. I believed, and so did many others, that it was time for Dantonio to finally step outside of his circle and find someone to breathe some fresh air into this offense. That is not what happened. Instead Coach D doubled down with his buddies.